The Atlantic

A Sociologist Finds Vegans Are Too Open to ‘Free Riders’

A contentious study suggests that social movements shoot themselves in the foot when they embrace a wide range of adherents.
Source: Dominic Favre / AP

In the past couple of decades, vegetarian diets have achieved enormous visibility in the United States. Consumers now include more plant-based foods in their diet, as sales of these foods continue to rise. But the extent to which vegetarianism and veganism have led Americans to actually give up eating meat remains unclear. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that 2018 will be the United States’ biggest year for meat consumption yet. A recent Gallup poll found that only 5 percent of Americans identify as vegetarian and 3 percent identify as vegan, signaling little to no growth in the movement from 2012.

In a new , Corey Wrenn, a sociologist at Monmouth University and an

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